Youngsters get on their bicycles

Sustrans' Richard Rothwell, with Ben Doyle, 11, Nuki'i Taylor, 11, Amber Groom, 11, Matthew Butcher, 12 and Daniel Topping, 13.
Sustrans' Richard Rothwell, with Ben Doyle, 11, Nuki'i Taylor, 11, Amber Groom, 11, Matthew Butcher, 12 and Daniel Topping, 13.
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STUDENTS are getting in the saddle to improve their health and protect the envrionment thanks to a project designed to encourage bicycle use.

Young people from Bede Academy in Blyth have been working with Sustrans, which is responsible for developing and managing some of the country’s most popular cycle-ways including the old Blyth to Bedlington railway line.

Richard Rothwell has been holding bike maintenance sessions at the Academy designed to encourage interest in cycling, keep students on the road and give them the knowledge to stay safe.

Weekly sessions have covered a range of issues from cycle maintenance and route planning to braking techniques and being highly visible on the road.

“The aim is to get more children cycling more often – for their health, for the environment, for fun,” said Richard, who this year won his category in the 24 hour world endurance mountain bike championships staged in the Rocky Mountains, USA.

“There is a perception that because of the levels of traffic cycling is dangerous yet the statistics don’t bear this out.

“Children love being active and riding bikes but as we get older the pressures of life pull us away from cycling.”